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The Art of Taxonomy


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The Art of Taxonomy

  1. 1. The Art of Taxonomy Luke Bragg Director of Enterprise Architecture MSD / Merck Luzern, Switzerland • I was born in colorado • I studied international relations and political science • I work for MSD/Merck, first in their veterinary business and now in human health • I know a little bit about… enterprise architecture, digital strategy, multi-channel marketing, content management, taxonomy design, ‘beyond-the-pill products/services • I have lived in the US, Ukraine, Russia, The Netherlands and now reside in Switzerland • I can juggle, yet I can’t multi-task J. Boye Aarhus 14 - Networked Knowledge in Action 5 November 2014
  2. 2. The Art of Taxonomy Luke Bragg Director of Enterprise Architecture MSD / Merck Luzern, Switzerland • Mission… • to share my experiences with developing a framework for thinking about taxonomy implementation • hear about your trials and tribulations as well • Scope… • customer facing multichannel content taxonomy (not ERP-based taxonomy) • To Ponder… • your experience with taxonomy • how you see its role in digital trends • organizational challenges J. Boye Aarhus 14 - Networked Knowledge in Action 5 November 2014
  3. 3. 3 why is a taxonomy important?
  4. 4. Differentiator Content Context Channels Devices Commodity
  5. 5. Content Context Channels Devices Differentiator Commodity good content rises to the top good context -> findability content streams are the trend smart matching channels will improve on a predictable path disruption will occur device evolution
  6. 6. 6 what does good look like?
  7. 7. guiding principles ‣ taxonomy should align with how we talk about our business but should also improve on that reality ‣ taxonomy should be institutionalized into our business and be the oxygen for our multi-channel efforts ‣ ease of administration and maintenance is paramount and all solutions should be elegant ‣ sacred cows make the best hamburger : everything we’ve done before needs to re-justify its existence ‣ the enterprise/market challenges addressed thoughtfully and not centered on largest market
  8. 8. serving The Three Masters… Reporting & Analytics business intelligence based on who, what, where, why, when, & how - mapping content’s interactions & life across channels Personalization content for specific purposes the ability to match content & services with customers based on explicit profile information or based on digital body language … and the key business goals Channel Features metadata used by the specific channels to aggregate, display, & otherwise manipulate individual ‣ incentive structure must be in place to ensure the highest possible completeness and accuracy of metadata ‣ ease of use and support material for non-technical people to manage metadata at the content level as a natural part of a content administrators role ‣ future-proofing for the next-gen scenarios (such as personalization) by imagining future scenarios and baking them in now.
  9. 9. organizational challenges ‣ existing taxonomies • retrofitting required (ROI?) ‣ complex stakeholders ‣ low understanding of taxonomies ‣ focus on governance, sponsorship & ownership ‣ ROI of a good taxonomy ‣ future integrations ‣ admin costs ‣ channel templates ‣ future proofing
  10. 10. the future state… the ‘meta’ ‣ a comprehensive customer-facing taxonomy integrated into all of your digital efforts and institutionalized in the organization ‣ clear governance allowing perpetual improvements & growth of taxonomy based on the feedback loop of The Three Masters ‣ productized of taxonomy • exposed & promoted within the organization • detailed like a product (categories & keywords) • examples of insights, content-profile matching, dynamic functionalities fueled by taxonomy
  11. 11. the future state - the ‘micro’ / ‣ all content and services travel with all their relevant context in the forms of metadata driven by our taxonomy ‣ distributed through any channel or made available to any stream; either internal or external channels ‣ can be coupled and aggregated with related content & services based on its context ‣ matched up with customers based on metadata and profile information (either explicit or digital body language) ‣ travels with an analytics beacon to report back on its interactions and life cycle (the who, where, why, how) Content & Services Context
  12. 12. 12 the secret sauce
  13. 13. the secret sauce ‣ what’s the elevator pitch for including this metadata field? What’s it’s story? ‣ how will the values for this metadata be produced? • populated automatically or by a real live human being • if human, how will they know the right value? role-based knowledge? challenger questions - part 1 • are all fields universally required or is it based on type of content? ‣ will this metadata field have a list of possible values? • are these values universal or different per market or audience? • how is this list of possible values managed? • how organic is this list? does it grow or shrink often?
  14. 14. the secret sauce ‣ how will the metadata be consumed? by which master? challenger questions - part 2 • analytics/reporting • channel function • personalization? ‣ where is the most appropriate place in the content hierarchy for this metadata to be captured? • note: this is the most neglected yet most important question to ask • by automation based on relevant context from outside your cms? • at the content level by a content admin? • through context of where the content resides? folder, website, page? ‣ is there a dynamic relationship between metadata fields?
  15. 15. Key takeaway : the art comes before the science ‣ A quality taxonomy implementation is about caring about your content and services and preparing them to go out into the big bad world with everything they need to survive and thrive. It will involve the soft sciences of change management, betting the proper buy-in, and making sure everything in your taxonomy serves a specific purpose. And it’s important to imagine what it all looks like, how it all operates, beforehand. Have a vision (and work to sell that vision) and work backwards from there. ‣ All these things need to be considered carefully before anyone turns on a computer or writes a line of code
  16. 16. The Art of Taxonomy Questions / Discussion J. Boye Aarhus 14 - Networked Knowledge in Action 5 November 2014